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(Halifax) – With the recent debacle on Nova Scotia’s only toll highway still fresh in people’s minds, the Canadian Union of Public Employees is questioning the MacDonald government’s pursuit of yet another private highway.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “One of the three P3 projects that this government is still considering is an 85-kilometre private highway from Sutherland’s River to the Canso Causeway.  Our question to Transportation Minister Murray Scott is, ‘how does he expect to build a private highway and not have it be a toll highway?’

I think given the glaring inefficiencies of our only existing private highway - that were laid bare in last week’s snowstorm on the Cobequid Pass - Nova Scotians are in no mood to be giving away any more of our roads to some private corporation in a far away land,” says Cavanagh.

After what happened to those 1,500 stranded motorists, we do not want private companies telling us what we can and cannot do on our roadways.  It’s just that simple,” he says.

As for Greater Halifax Partnership chief economist Fred Morley, I’d like to thank him for providing such a refreshingly candid view on why the private sector likes P3’s.  Morley suggests this is actually a great time for P3’s because that’s where investors can get higher guaranteed returns in these uncertain times. I guess their motto should be, ‘When times are tough in the markets…go to the public trough’.”

Says Cavanagh, “When every other country in the G20 and every economist worth their salt is saying the days of tying our wagon to the private sector is over, at least until regulatory systems are tightened considerably, it appears to be business as usual for the government of Nova Scotia.”

For information:  Danny Cavanagh             John McCracken
                          CUPE N.S. President      CUPE Communications Rep.